PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- State Senate President Jake Corman says the Republican-controlled Senate is moving ahead with a forensic audit of the 2020 election.
In his first television interview since announcing this latest investigation, Corman told KDKA political editor Jon Delano that he's not trying to undermine the 2020 election results.
After all, Republicans did very well across the state, even as Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes.
Delano: As far as you're concerned, the election of 2020 is over and done with as far as the results are concerned? You're looking at the process?
Corman: One hundred percent looking at the process. ... The legislature does not have the authority to change an election result. Our job is to provide oversight.
To lead that oversight, Corman removed his Republican colleague Doug Mastriano, who is a strong Trump supporter, and replaced him with fellow Republican Cris Dush, chair of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.
"I just think Cris Dush is in a better position right now to bring what we are looking for, not only his investigative background that he has but also someone who is concerned about the credibility of this as well and doing this in a way that the public will have confidence in," Corman said.
Mastriano blasted Corman, accusing him of obstructing and hijacking the original investigation. But Corman said he wants an audit everyone will respect and that answers questions many Pennsylvanians have.
"You're looking at how it was tabulated. You're looking at voter rolls and how they match up with people who were registered to vote. Were people still living in this area, were they still alive when they cast a vote – things of that nature. You're looking at some point, at the machines to see if they're able to be tampered with from the outside," Corman said.
"I think it's 100 percent political," said Pennsylvania Sen. Jay Costa, the state Senate Democratic Leader.
Costa said there have already been multiple audits and reviews and no evidence of any major problems.
"We believe it's unwarranted, unnecessary, and, quite frankly, unprecedented," Costa said.
Democrats believe someone else is behind it all.
"I think they are getting their marching orders from, in my view, President Trump and the Republican playbook out of Washington and nationally, and they're just trying to undermine and discredit the 2020 election," Costa said.
Delano: Have you had discussions with former President Trump about this investigation?
Corman: Not details of it. I've talked to him a couple of times. When a former president calls you, you pick up the phone, right?
Corman would not get specific about his discussions with Trump, but characterized the former president's words this way:
"Not on detail about what we should or shouldn't be doing. He expressed his concerns about some things, and you certainly listen to them and, like anybody else, you take those concerns, you try to implement what you can to alleviate his or anyone else's concerns in the process," Corman said. "He was obviously on the ballot in Pennsylvania, so obviously has an interest."
Corman said, as he has in the past, that the legislature cannot overturn the 2020 election results, even if Trump wants that.
Delano: You acknowledge that you're not going to try to overturn those results?
Corman: I have no authority to do that. Never had. All election disputes are decided by the courts.
Corman did remove a strong Trump supporter as the lead of the investigation, so he was asked if he's heard from the former president.
Delano: Has he expressed to you any unhappiness about what you are doing?
Corman: No. Look, I don't want to get into the details of our conversation, but no.
Corman gave no timetable for this investigation but said the state Senate would do nothing to interfere with counties in the upcoming November election.
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